Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Fun and Easy Project

I don't have much time for sewing these days, but I can handle a pillowcase.

My mom makes these neat pillowcases out of three fabrics and I wanted to make a couple for my girls. As I was looking at the one she made for Bean I realized that the seam for the cuff was completely hidden both on the outside and on the inside. How did she do that?

She sent me the instructions, which she realized didn't make much sense, so she also sent me one halfway done so I could see how they were put together. As I made mine, I decided to take pictures of each step so I could refer to them in the future when I want to make them again. My blog is the natural repository for such pictures, so here you go! You're going to learn how to make a totally keen pillowcase! Get excited. You need more pillowcases in your life.

Here's what you need:

For the case: 27" of fabric
For the cuff: 9 1/2" strip of fabric
For the trim: 2-4" strip of fabric

Cut all pieces the width of the fabric, which is usually 40-44" wide

Fold and press trim piece in half the loooong way.

Pin folded trim to one edge of cuff right sides together. It's very important that you put the pins perpendicular with their heads out.

Now, pin the body on top of the trim and cuff, right sides together.

Roll up the body like a hot dog. Now you know this is going to be no ordinary pillowcase! When was the last time you rolled something up like a hot dog when you were sewing?

Fold the cuff up around the hot dog roll and pin it to the edge. This is why you want the pins perpendicular with the heads sticking out. You pin this thing three times before you sew a single seam and it's a lot easier to do all the re-pinning with the pins in this way.

Would these instructions make any sense without the pictures? They didn't to me!

So now you can go ahead and sew that seam that you've pinned three times. You're sewing through two layers of cuff, two layers of trim, and one layer of body, like so:

I sewed twice just for fun. The body fabric is slightly wider than the cuff fabric, but that is okay. It will all get evened out soon.

Now comes the fun part: pull the hot dog out of the middle and turn the whole thing inside out.

And you have this!

I mean, you have a sewing project that looks like mine. If you have a spastic Birrd in your sewing room too then I'm very concerned.

Next you can even up all the ends if you need to. Then of course you just fold it in half and sew along the two non-cuff edges to make a pillowcase. I also did a zigzag stitch on the raw edges because I was using funky satiny stuff that frays really bad.

And here is the finished product, folded up neatly and awaiting Roo's birthday.

Much more interesting than a plain old pillowcase. Fantastic if you want to make cases to match a quilt you've made-- just use scraps from the quilt. And very amusing to make. My kind of project.


Annalea said...

Birrd, this is so fun. I just love clever sewing tricks. :o) And, since I'm bloggily challenged right now, I'm going to post a link to this for my entry today. (Gotta make sure that this is preserved, you know?)

Have a great day!

scraps said...

ok, you'll have to show me, maybe the RS too! Nice project.

Birrd said...

From my mom, via email:

"If you want the pillowcase to be completely enclosed, inside and out, there is one step you omitted. After doing the hot dog roll thing, when you sew the case together, first sew it wrong sides together, then turn inside out again, and encase the stitches. I think this is called a french seam. It makes it perfectly smooth on both sides. Very neat.
Love you lots, MOM"

Oops, I'll have to try that next time.